Well it seems we have a Republican finalist in place. Arizona Senator, John McCain, locked the nomination by virtue of his walking away with Texas, Ohio, RI, and VT, in yesterdays primaries. As I have written in the past, the man gives me much cause for concern. His willingness to bend our first amendment rights in order to meet his needs/wants/desires, is by itself, reason enough to wonder about his political character. That he would, and has, side with leaders of the progressive movement in this country (otherwise known as the Democratic Party) if for no other apparent reason then to snub his own parties goals or agendas, comes across not as one who is a “maverick”, but rather a petulant child who needs to be the center of attention … and when not getting their way … proceeds to curl up in a ball and turn blue.
Then there are the two things he has in common with the current holder of the office of Commander-in-Chief. The first, both seek to have our borders open to all able to walk across same. “Illegal Immigrant” is in not in either one’s lexicon. That is going to cost us, and not just in dollars and cents. But in real human blood, sweat, and tears.
The second one, is their stance on the War on Terror. (This is kinda amazing to me, in that you would think a secure, non-porous border would be one of the top items on ones list of things to do, in order to effectively fight this foe, at least regarding being able to monitor the coming and goings of those who are of a questionable nature.) Both President Bush, and ostensively, Senator McCain, at the very least are aware of the potential price we pay if we chose to ignore the threat posed by “radical Islam”. That neither seem to want to (or are able to) acknowledge Islam in and of itself IS the threat, and the more vocal/radical elements are nothing more then folks moving at a faster pace then the rest of the Muslim crowd, is perhaps a subject for another day. Still, they seem to have at least a basic grasp of the concept. We can’t bargain with those who seek to kill us, and are less then honorable in their (history of) bargaining.
This last point is (if there is any politically speaking) McCain’s saving grace.
But his successful run to the Oval Office will not be won on this alone. Both Democratic contenders are by all accounts going to give him quite a race, regardless who wins their party’s nomination. He will have to do at least a couple of things (barring any major turns in the war). First, he needs to legitimately mend the fences he all but ran through the wood chipper, with conservatives. One way to start the mending would be to bring on board a strong conservative running mate for VP. Duncan Hunter would be my choice. He is a young, strong conservative from a state whose last major political voice (Pelosi, The Governator, and Boxer don’t count) was none other then Ronald Regan. It might also be enough to swing that state in his column come the general election. (But my prognostication has been so poor, even I wonder about that … still…) Then there is former Lt Governor of Maryland, Michael S. Steele, yet another strong conservative voice.
McCain has a long way to go to not only unify the GOP, but in winning the general election. Time will tell if he is honest enough with the conservative Republicans (and conservatives in general), to get them to turn out in large enough numbers come November.
I wonder if he will be honest enough with himself to be the kind of man his son sees him as.
“I think he is less [of a] maverick and more principled. He’s not going to pander and he’s not going to give in because it’s politically intelligent or just because it’s popular to go that way. Granted he is an elected official, and he is the voice of the people, but when it comes down to what he believes is best for the country, he does what he feels is right,”
Midshipman Jack McCain, February 13, 2008
I have to admire both his sons. Both are in the millitary, by choice. Based on what I have read, they sound like solid centered individuals, who love their dad and are proud of him. It came across in the linked interview, and it did change my opinion of McCain just a bit. If those closest to him are as positive about him with out being *gushingly so*, then perhaps there is more to the man then what we have seen. And maybe this is what McCain needs to share with the rest of the country. Perhaps it is time to drop the “Maverick” and become instead, the principled senior statesman ready and willing to lead this country. If that means you have to secure the borders to defend against all enemies foreign and domestic, then so be it. If that means you have to repeal the BCRA (because our candidate is man enough to admit mistakes) because the Constitution, specifically the “Bill of Rights”, is not to be trifled with. This would go a long way towards mending fences and establishing credibility with conservatives.
We shall see.